As parents age, conflicts can occur between parents and their children over health care and living situations. Conflicts can also arise between siblings over issues such as when it is time for increased parental care and which sibling is responsible for what aspects of a parent’s care. The issue of guardianship sometimes arises. Conflicts can arise between the elder family member and their third party caretakers. Often the elder’s children or friends are clear that “something needs to be done.” What this “something” is and how it can be accomplished is often less clear. The best intentions of the family are usually to work together for the needs of the loved one. But the situation can often generate stress, confusion and disagreements. This can disrupt family harmony and get in the way of acting in the best interests of the elder family member.
Mediation is especially appropriate and effective in conflict situations where there is an important continuing relationship between the individuals involved. In an elder mediation, a professional mediator provides a process that promotes positive and respectful communication. Family members and others involved share information and perspectives. They can then more effectively explore and evaluate options and develop workable solutions.
I have provided elder mediation to a number of families with good success. Most of the people I serve are from the southern Orange County communities of Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita, Ladera Ranch, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo and Irvine. I can work with you to create a customized mediation process that will best meet your needs.